The next day while I swept out the dirt that had been walked in by many folks visiting me home I saw Alice quickly making her way through the town towards the garrison. The lass was driven by pure and true love as she took no notice of the town’s people who were whispering about Silas while giving her looks of disgust. She was a brave lass that was for certain. A wee part of me wondered if I should go with her, but I feared the rumours and harsh words I would get from the not only the gossiping people of the town but the Marshall as well. He did warn me to stay away from the garrison, so that is what I would do until the Indian was no longer a prisoner there.
As time passed I saw Mistress Castel, James Read, Verity and others in the town go about their business. Mercy even came with tunics of her master’s that needed to be repaired. Virginia seemed to be cruel to finely made clothing. Alice I saw appear looking about nervously while she played with her hands in front of her. She looked as if she was going to leave the town, but she stopped all of a sudden in front of me home.
“You alright lass?” I asked her holding the flimsy broom with the other hand on me hip.
“Clara, I need to ask you a favour,” She began and I nodded slowly propping the broom on the wall inside me home.
“What d’you need?” I asked.
“You to come to the garrison, to speak to Silas,” She told me and me jaw dropped.
“What?! Why?!” I demanded loudly, Alice shushed me looking around for people that could have heard.
“I can’t tell you that here, please Clara,” She pleaded but I just scoffed shaking me head unable to look at her. “You won’t be in danger Clara,” It wasn’t danger I was worrying about, but being around that Indian more. “Please Clara,” She begged me tugging on me arm a wee bit like a child. I groaned and nodded then we began walking towards the Garrison. I nervously glanced around hoping that people took as little notice to us as possible, but that was difficult for us considering her love was rumoured to be a traitor, and I was rumoured to be a whore for an Indian. Those folks spreading those rumours will be punished by the Lord eventually. Alice pushed open the door to the garrison, then entered without me while she kept the door held open.
“When no one is looking come in quick,” Alice said quietly and I nodded with a sigh. As soon the few people either walk by, began talking to each other or looked away I rushed inside shutting the door behind me. “Did anyone see you?!” She asked me and I shook me head getting me breath back while I slumped up against the garrison door.
“No,” I replied standing up straight as Alice strode over to Silas. The second eldest Sharrow stood up when his love got as close to the bars, getting close himself so they could hold each other’s hands affectionally as lovers do. While they spoke to each other about how they missed each other and similar loving things, I dared meself to look at the Indian. He was not close to the bars but he was leaning his head down so he could, his eyes fixed on me and a smirk on his lips. This was the first time I’d seen him this close in the daylight and without paint. His skin was like copper, not red like the devil many Virginia Company men had claimed the naturals had. His hair was thick and long, dark like jet and was tied to one side while it was decorated with some feathers from a wild bird. His features were sharp, much like his gaze, and as much as I wanted to deny it and rid me mind of such thoughts, he was devilishly handsome. Clearing me throat I turned me head to Silas resting me hands on me hips waiting for him to tell me what he wanted.
“Ya got me ’ere Silas, what is it you need?” I began then he pursed his lips looking sheepishly at Alice for a moment.
“It ain’t what I need Clara,” He then looked over at the Indian making his smirk grow into a grin. Alice and I frown at each other then Silas began to explain what it was I was needed for, and if any outside this garrison learnt of it I would probably be accused of treason on top of accusations of being a whore...
“You want me, to repair an Indian’s, loincloth?!” I spoke slowly, spitting me words in an attempt to control me anger. Silas nodded calmly, Alice glancing between us uncomfortable with what he had asked. “You’ve gone mad bein’ in ’ere!” I shouted pointing to the bars of the garrison.
“Clara, there ain’t no finer seamstress in Jamestown,” Silas tried to flatter me but I scoffed.
“There ain’t no other seamstress in Jamestown y’ could ask to do this!” I said back pointing a finger at Indian who seemed to be a wee bit amused at me which made me even more cross.
“It needs to be done Clara, we can’t have a naked Indian walking around Jamestown. Think about how that will go down,” Silas shrugged.
“A lot of fainting women?” I muttered.
“That, and a lot more trouble for everyone. I’ll pay you myself if you want Clara,” Silas pointed out, which was possible. None of us could tell what the town, especially those high up in the town like the Governor. Goodness knows what the Indian’s tribe would do also. I sighed then crossed me arms looking at the Native again.
“Well, I can’t take it out of this room, and I don’t want to see that Indian as bare as the day he was born,” I then looked at Silas leaning in a bit close. “Don’t want him gettin’ ideas,” I added speaking quieter to him. Silas smiled then turned to the Native, speaking in his tongue. The Indian listened but kept looking at me. He then spoke back to Silas in his own tongue but not saying as many words as Silas.
“Chacrow says, he is grateful to you for offering your skills,” Silas then paused to listen to the Indian speak, I now knew was called Chacrow, before he hesitantly translates again. “He also wants to know if our God himself blessed you with your beauty,” I gasped and backed away from the bars of the cell. My cheeks I felt get warm, and me heart felt like it was about to burst from me chest. But I was also afraid again of what he was thinking and planning to do, and of what he was making me feel. Lord almighty why do I keep getting lured towards this Indian?! I wanted to keep away from him, I wanted to listen to what Lady Yeardley and the Marshall said, but still, I ended up near him for him to leer at. I had to promise meself I wouldn’t come near him after this, and I had to stand by that promise.
“I need me kit, and somethin’ t’cover him up,” I said to Alice and Silas.
“I can get a blanket,” Alice told me which would do.
“And while ya do that I’ll get me kit. We can pretend ya want me t’ repair it,” Alice nodded agreeing with me idea.
“We’ll be quick,” Alice told Silas softly squeezing his hand one more time.
“Tell him to not move around much, it may make the stitchin’ come apart more,” I told Silas who then translated me words to Chacrow.
“Ehhhh,” He softly cooed and nodded with another smile at me. I turned towards the door with Alice following. She opened the door of the garrison slowly walking out and once again holding open while she glanced around. When it was clear she nodded her head then I rushed out and quickly pretended I had just been lingering nearby waiting for her. Alice then closed the door and smiled at me as if now was the first time today the lass had seen me.
“Clara, lovely to see you, I don’t suppose you could mend a blanket of mine please?” She asked holding her small hands together in front of her.
“Anything for a friend. I’ll get me kit and meet you back in the town?” I smiled then she nodded and parted ways, her stride off back to the Sharrow’s farm and me towards me home, no one whispering about me or glaring at me more than normal. When I got into me home I took some deep breaths to calm myself down until I felt ready to go out again with me sewing kit in hand. Alice was waiting for me near the garrison, but unlucky for us it was busier and James Read was nearby working away which meant we had to once more we had to be quick and discreet. Alice opened the door bidding me farewell as she handed me the blanket, then went into the garrison. I slipped into the garrison as the door was closing, somehow no one noticing but I nearly fell over as me skirt got caught in the door a wee bit. It didn’t rip but I cursed meself for being so clumsy. “Right, give ’em this t’cover himself up after he’s taken the cloth off,” I told Silas handing him the blanket. He then spoke to the Indian before he nodded understanding then stood up suddenly, rather eager which made me and Alice suddenly turn away.
“Silas tell him he should have waited until we turned away!” I exclaimed, he also stood with his back to the Indian with his hands on his side. He spoke in the native’s tongue quickly and firmly. The Indian I could hear shuffling around before he spoke softly, then I heard what sounded like clothing being dropped on the ground.
“The cloth is there on the other side of the bars,” Silas translated then the Indian spoke louder. “You may fix it now,” Silas translated.
“Is he covered?” I asked Silas who asked the Indian the same question. “Yes,” He answered. I licked me dry lips nervous about turning around. I did it very slowly keeping me eyes at the ground seeing that his loincloth was on the ground on the other side of the bars. I then snapped me head up, to see that the Indian was indeed covered up, and smiling. I sighed in relief then picked up the loincloth in both hands examining the item made of leather. I could see the rip on the hip part of the cloth, and it was one that although was not major it was getting worse quickly. I reluctantly looked on the inside of the cloth seeing where I could make the repairs.
“I can do it,” I told them nodding which Silas told the Indian making him smile and nod expecting me to start. I pursed me lips and huffed at him ordering me about as if he had the right which he certainly did not. Just mend it and you’ll never see him again, I thought to meself, then pulled up a chair from the table in the corner probably sat at by whoever would guard garrison or talk to the prisoners. I sat down on an angle from the bars with the cloth on me lap and kit in me hand. I took out the thickest threat I had in a black colour and a needle. To keep me nerves of being watched while I put the thread into the needle eye by the Indian I began to sing quietly to meself.
“Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, Remember me to one who lives there, For once he was a true love of mine,”
I then hummed the next part of the song as I cut some of the thread with me scissors, and began to actually sew. The Indian seemed fascinated with what I was doing for once instead of just the way I looked. Or perhaps it was because his loincloth was on me lap...
“Have him make me a cambric shirt, Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, Without no seam nor fine needlework, And then he’ll be a true love of mine,”
I went on as I pushed the needle through the fabric mending it so it was as good as new. I finished me work then held them up in front of me to have a proper look, Silas and Alice both looking at it too.
“There, that should ’old,” I stated. The Indian then said something in his tongue, slowly while he stared right into me eyes. It sounded sincere, and perhaps even romantic, but before Silas could tell me what he said he spoke again.
“Chacrow would like his cloth back now,” Silas said itching his nose with a finger. I stood up and slowly walked towards the bars. I didn’t want to just throw it on the floor, it may disrespect him and cause him to become angry. I was extremely afraid to do what I was about to do, but I told meself again, it’ll be the last time you see him when this is done.
“C-Chacrow,” I began, a look of awe on his face when I said his name. It was the only thing I could say in his language and the only way I could communicate with him. I then poked my arm through the bars holding out his loincloth for him to take. Chacrow, holding the blanket around the lower part of his body, stood up and stepped closer to the bars. I had to crane me neck as he got closer due to him being much taller than me, but I glanced back down when he slowly reached for his loincloth. I gasped when he suddenly took hold of it, my heart rattled in me chest again and me cheeks felt like they were on fire. He then said something in his language I guessed was thank you and heard Silas confirm that then I let go of the cloth for him to take. Alice turned her back and I did the same putting me thread and needle away while Chacrow dressed again.
“I mended the clothing, now I’ll go. Don’t worry ‘bout payin’,” I quickly stuttered then left after Silas and Alice thanked me. I walked as swiftly as me feet could take me back home, me heart still racing even more. With me back up against the wall I took deep breaths trying to calm down. That was probably the most strange experience of me whole life on God’s green earth, and even though it scared me, it also was thrilling to me. I felt a rush through me body like nothing I felt before. So much for promising to keep away...